What is Sail Performance?

What is Sail Performance?

A better performing sail goes faster, that much is clear. Is that all there really is to it? Are performance sails just for racers, daredevils, and people in a hurry?

At Precision Sails, we tend to think otherwise. Sail performance is a balanced sum resulting from sailshape, material, cut and design which affect a sailboats heel, tacking ability, speed, and comfort levels. Increased performance is the reason given across the sail making industry to account for the price difference between materials, cuts, and designs. It occurs to us that sailors and their sailing styles are too diverse to split up into two categories: racers and everyone else, people who need sails to get from”A to B” as quickly as possible and people who need to get there eventually.

Sail performance is something that everyone should be concerned with. Sail performance doesn’t just affect when you get to your destination, but how you get there.

The first thing most sailors notice in a better performing sail (after an increase in speed!) is that the boat heels over less. Whether the increased performance comes from material, cut, or design, more momentum is directed forward and the boat stays more upright. The feeling of instability as a boat leans can be a big turn off for some people, sailors and crew alike. New sails that allow your boat to stay level, to feel stray and secure, can be the difference between friends and family being terrified or excited by that thought of coming out on the water with you.


Secondly, a better performing sail should be effective in a wider range of wind speeds. Better material, cut, and design results in better shape retention. Better shape retention means that your sail will continue to hold its shape in light wind and can safely be pushed harder in heavy wind. Obviously there are some limits to this. No single sail can have maximum effectiveness in all possible wind conditions. However, a better performing sail, a better shaped sail, will be more diverse in function and can therefore be relied on in changing weather.

Finally, a better performing sail should be effective in a wider variety of wind angles. The same improved shape retention that is more flexible in terms of wind speed also fills and functions better at a wider variety of wind angles. This means greater control over your boat and, ultimately, better positioning.

Next time you’re looking at new sails, regardless of your ambitions to race or relax, consider sail performance. With higher quality material, cut, and design, you can end up with a sail that functions more reliably, flexibly, and efficiently. A better performing sail will get you where you want to go more quickly and comfortably.

Wondering whether or not you can can buy an excellent performing sail online with Precision Sails – watch the following video.

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